UPDATE! – Following this article, Hasbro officially announced the commercial release of HeroQuest in stores and online. Pre-orders are currently open at Entertainment Earth for the base game, the expansions Kellar’s Keep and Return of the Witch Lord, along with a previously unannounced pair of hero characters “Hero Collection: Commander of the Guardian Knights“.
Unfortunately, it looks like the Guardian Knights heroes are already sold out. If you’re interested at all in HeroQuest, you should really pre-order it. Scalpers own the internet in 2021. If you want to beat them to the punch, pre-ordering it is the best bet.
I’ll list the pre-order links below. If you choose to buy something this way, it will benefit this site so we can keep bringing you content like this. Thank you!
It’s amazing how an experience like HeroQuest can transcend time and space. In the off-chance you aren’t familiar with HeroQuest, it’s a modular dungeon-crawling board game from 1989/1990 originally released by Milton Bradley and designed in a partnership with Games Workshop. That’s right, that Games Workshop.
When HeroQuest took over toystore shelves, it broke my little seven-year-old mind. I vividly remember squatting in the store aisle and studying the back of the box, checking out all the contents and text, trying to understand how a game like this could possibly work.
Very soon after that, I got to play for the first time when some awesome kid brought his copy to a UIL competition and we got to play while we waited to compete.
HeroQuest was every bit as amazing as I thought it would be. More so, actually. I was completely enthralled and I didn’t give my parents a minute of rest until that big beautiful box was safely under our Christmas tree.
By 1990, HeroQuest had made its way into households in Europe, Australia, the US and Canada. The commercials made it seem like an intense competitive adventure. And it absolutely was. And still is!
In the intervening decades, I’ve held onto my (now beat to hell) copy of HeroQuest and introduced it to my friends and my son. I’ve been painting a few minis a year for this whole time.
It’s an understatement to say I’m a fan. I absolutely love HeroQuest and just this week, Hasbro’s new & improved HeroQuest Mythic Tier showed up at my doorstep. This game is everything I wanted it to be and more.
So Wait… Did they Remake HeroQuest in 2021?
Hasbro held a massive crowdfunding campaign in 2020 to fund a modern reprint of the original HeroQuest Game System, along with two of the original expansions. All the art and miniatures have been completely redone but are quite faithful to the original. And in November of 2021, HeroQuest 2021 Mythic Tier has been shipped.
If you missed it somehow (actually, a lot of people missed out. So sorry!) the crowdfunding happened on the Hasbro Pulse site in a little nook they call Haslab. If you haven’t been to the site, it’s definitely worth a visit. Hasbro is pretty much constantly tempting fans with particularly unique (and often pricey) new exclusive items that otherwise probably wouldn’t exist.
As of this writing, they just cleared the minimum needed to fund a life-sized replica of Egon Spengler’s Proton Pack for $399.99. Over 7,000 people decided they needed it bad enough to cough up four hundred bucks. Seems crazy to me, but that let me tell you that Proton Pack is siiiick!
Anyway, back to HeroQuest. Hasbro has admitted that communication around the HeroQuest remake was poor initially. A lot of people missed out. Real fans didn’t even know about it until it started shipping out and their social media mutuals started posting pics. But according to Hasbro, they did not expect the overwhelming response HeroQuest got. It started out as a pet project and just kept growing.
I was lucky enough to discover the crowdfunding campaign and secure the Mythic Tier (the top tier offered) before it was too late.
I Missed the Crowdfunding, Will HeroQuest Be in Stores?
YES! In a recent interview with Polygon, HeroQuest’s brand manager said we can expect to see it on store shelves by the end of 2021… which is coming fast! He didn’t say whether the expansions or Mythic inclusions would be available. But we’ll find out soon enough.
It was also recently revealed that Hasbro has plans to release a HeroQuest companion app to allow for cooperative or solo play. This is especially exciting, as it will allow players like me, who have always owned the game and therefore always been Zargon, the opportunity to play as the heroes for once.
What’s Included in HeroQuest 2021?
Let’s look at the bottom line first, then we’ll break it down.
HeroQuest Core Game Contents
- 35 Character Miniatures
- 14 Quests
- 15 Furniture Pieces
- 99 Cards
- A bunch of rats and skulls
Heroic Tier Contents
- 5 Exclusive Character Miniatures
- 4 Cards
Kellar’s Keep Expansion Contents
- 17 Character Miniatures
- 10 Quests
- 2 Furniture Pieces
- 14 Cards
Return of the Witch Lord Expansion Contents
- 16 Character Miniatures
- 10 Quests
- 2 Furniture Pieces
- 14 Cards
Mythic Tier Contents
- 22 Character Miniatures
- 37 Quests!
- 18 Cards
What is Different in HeroQuest 2021?
For the core game, the changes are almost entirely cosmetic and the game itself is almost identical to the original. Cosmetic updates are impressive, though, and include all-new sculpts on the models and furniture, new art on everything, and a modest upgrade to the game board’s play area.
The most impactful update is certainly the size of the game board, which has been beefed up from 23 inches on the long side, up to 26 inches. I’m only measuring actual play space, not including the logo area.
That three-inch difference doesn’t sound like a whole lot, does it? But you feel it when you start placing characters and scenery! Basically, Hasbro increased the size of each game board square to a full inch. The old game board was divided into squares that were scarcely more than ¾ inch.
But don’t think of how that extra quarter inch affects movement and placement… think about how Hasbro’s artists now have almost 25% more room to cram all kinds of details into their models. And now that all the furniture pieces are completely plastic, not cardboard, they are absolutely jam-packed with lively detail. And they’re much sturdier than the original.
Additionally, Hasbro opted for circular bases on their miniatures instead of the original squares, making it much easier to fit a mob of villains and heroes in a small room together.
All the miniatures have been completely re-sculpted. Goblins and orcs even have multiple models. Goblins have 3 different sculpts and orcs have 4. They look great, of course.
All the original spells, monsters and loot are still here. Additional cards are included to represent “equipment” but these are just in place of the Armory that was printed on the original’ game’s box insert. There are multiples of some of the more popular Armory items with their cost printed at the bottom.
Another minor change is the re-wording of every instance of “Chaos” (Chaos Warrior, Chaos Spells) to “Dread” (Dread Warrior, Dread Spells) due to trademark issues with Games Workshop. GW worked with Milton Bradley to create the original HeroQuest and took those trademarks with them.
Games Workshop also owns the rights to the monster “Fimir” and Hasbro has changed it into a Lovecraftian fish monster called an “Abomination.” The stats are the same, though.
The original Quest Book seems to be completely unchanged except for art upgrades. The booklet is now full color, glossy, and has illustrations where there were none before.
If you ordered the Heroic Tier, the heroes also have multiple sculpts. You can choose between a male or female model for each character. The Elf in the core game is now female, and the alternate sculpt in the Heroic Tier is male. Again, this is purely a cosmetic update. Their stats are unchanged.
The Heroic Tier also includes a mini for Sir Ragnar, the captured knight the heroes must rescue in Quest 2.
I never got my hands on the original versions of the expansion sets Kellar’s Keep and Return of the Witch Lord, so I can’t say how true they are to the originals. But given how faithful the core game is, my guess is that they’re almost identical. Models, cards and furniture are certainly updated though.
The Mythic Tier is where things start to get really interesting.
Fans who ordered the Mythic Tier receive a big box full of omg awesome incredible stuff. The Mythic box is large enough to fit both of the other expansions inside and includes the small box for the Heroic Tier minis.
I’m so incredibly glad I splurged on the Mythic.
Inside, you’ll find another three quest books with a total of 37 additional quests! For reference, the core game only comes with 14. There is an extra set of combat dice, a deck of new cards, including enemies, spells, equipment and more.
There are a whopping 27 new miniatures, including the Heroic Tier heroes, new enemies, new bosses, including a massive dragon miniature and four completely new hero characters!
The new heroes are especially exciting. These aren’t reprints, they’re totally new to the game system with an orcish Bard, a Druid, a Wizard and a Warlock that appears to be a halfling.
Hasbro really made the Mythic Tier worth getting. And because Mythic included the other expansions, this tier comes with a grand total of
- 95 Miniatures
- 19 Furniture Pieces
- 71 Quests
- 149 Cards
That ought to keep you busy for a while.